Some people are eating out a little less often, others are looking for bargains more than they used to, and some say the declining economy hasn't had much of an impact on the way they spend their food dollars at all. Most said they stick to their favorite brands, whether national manufacturer or private label. Here are some of the responses SN received from Philadelphia-area consumers in a recent survey about how the economy is affecting how they shop and what they buy in supermarkets:
With the market the way it is, on a fixed income you have to watch. We don't go out to eat as often. We spend more [on groceries] because we've been eating at home. I still buy name brands.
Elaine Rutter Mount Laurel, N.J., 66, retired
I buy what's on sale. Maybe I don't buy some of the higher-priced items. We haven't been going out less. We have lunch out together every day, usually at diners. I've been spending slightly less in the supermarket, but good food is really important to us. I look for organic and healthy foods.
Jo Ann Westcott Mount Laurel, N.J., 66, retired
The economy really hasn't affected me. We are eating out less. Normally we ate out three times a week; now it's maybe one time. I've been spending about the same in the supermarket. Here and there I've switched to cheaper items, but there are certain things I'd never buy generic. I buy generic in some things, like laundry detergent, paper towels, napkins.
Robin Feller Voorhees, N.J., 38, legal contract specialist
We look for better prices, more economical things. We're squeezing nickels. We still go out to eat every day. We're at that stage of life where it's just not worth it to cook at home. There's too much waste. I'd say we've been spending less in the supermarket, although the prices have jumped so much, we're probably really spending more. I do not buy [store brands]. Everything is watered down, and you don't save that much anyway.
Bernard Hurley Mount Laurel, N.J., 79, retired
It's pretty much the same. We buy what we need for that day. We eat at home the same; we eat out about three times a week. I spend about the same as I used to. We don't have kids or pets, so we might as well. I just buy whatever brands I see first.